SOTA Activations, Short Video Example

If you have been curious about what a SOTA activation looks like, this video is typical of our beautiful Canadian mountain SOTA activations.
Paul Mower
VA6MPM

 

VE6BLD’s solar pop can heater to warm your shack from the sun.

In 2014 I found a video on you tube of a man in Newfoundland who had built a solar pop can heater. I decided I would build one for my big shop in the back of my large town lot. There is a south facing wall to install it on a foot away from the wall for safety reasons as it can produce 80 -90 degree C!  I had an old double pane window in the shop that was about 3 by 7 feet. So the project began. I also had the aluminum frame from a score clock which had been removed from a school gym which turned out to be the perfect depth to fill with rows of pop cans after being insulated with 2 inch styrofoam. The metal frame also had a perfect indentation on the front to install the double pane window. See the pictures in the link below for how I  built  this pop can heater. I used a small squirrel cage fan on the inlet in the garage and another one on the outlet in the garage. There is a temperature sensor at the top of the outlet pipe connected to an adjustable digital temperature control ($8.00 on ebay). I can set any temperature to turn on the fans and I can also adjust the differential to turn off. As soon as the sun comes up and shines on the heater  it  will quickly come to the set temperature I programed of 32 C. The heater was tested to  produce up to +180 degrees F  (+80 degrees C) before I installed the fans. This is a good reason to have 2 fans so it will not melt the heater if one fan quits! Today Nov 11, 2020 the sun was very low (temperature – 12 degrees all day) but the heater quickly rose to +32 C and the thermostat turned the fans on. The heater produced a steady +18 C temp into the garage all day until there was no more sun shining on it. ! Darn nice free solar heat. 

Click the pictures in the gallery 

 

Click this link to see the picture gallery of this project 

 

 

 

Field Day 2020 Operations at VA6SJA

  • My First ever HF QSOs from my home station under my own call sign
  • My relatively vintage equipment worked!
  • I copied the ARRL Field Day Bulletin a few times and reconciled the copies
  • My first ever Field Day message to my Section Manager
  • But some of my things needed fixing

This is some of my Field Day story. What is yours? Anyone else who participated in Field Day is welcome to post about their efforts to this web site.

This post is a follow-up my post of October 27, “Preparations for Field Day 2020 at VA6SJA.”

Although I have participated in or visited a Field Days operation every year except four since 1994, this is the first time that I have set up and operated my own station for Field Day.

I regularly carry my cellular telephone around with me, alas, my first reaction is not to take photos when something happens. So unfortunately, I have no photos off this period

Since I was operating Class 1E, all radio operations including receiving the Bulletin would have to be under emergency power, from any of my gasoline generator, my truck battery (in my truck), and a small gel cell, as well as my laptop battery. I did however plug my laptop in to my generator power.

More >

WORLD 2020 CONTEST SCHEDULE, QRP ETC.

World 2020 contest schedule, if anyone is interested.

WA7BNM Contest Calendar

https://www.contestcalendar.com/index.html

VE6BLD multi-coax junction box on my tower

I have just completed building and installing a multi-coax junction box on my tower. I have 9 coaxes coming down the tower and feeding through a 4 inch pvc conduit to the basement. Every time a thunderstorm approached I would have to go behind my operating desk in the shack and disconnect them all. Two of the lines are 7/8 inch hardline with 1/4 inch solid core center conductor. Any lightning strike would have a direct path to the shack- not great!! I had an old aluminum weather proof  box which was used for a chart recorder in a town pump house. Please see the pictures for the construction and finished product. There is also another WP box three feet away to connect the coaxes from the house to a grounding bar during bad weather. The red banana plugs ground the disconnected  coax coming down the tower after they are disconnected. This way there is no path for the lightning to enter the house through the coaxes.

Stolen repeater

The Border Communications Group suffered a loss of equiment a short time ago. 1- Yaesu DR-1X repeater, 1- Arcom 210 controller, 1- CDM750 UHF and 1-CDM 1550LS Motorola mobile radios and 1 Solar Panel Charge Controller from an active repeater site. All interface cables also were taken. Cables were custom configuration to allow special features. (Southern Alberta)
Anybody hearing of a great deal on a Yaesu repeater and / or controller . . . .be aware. It may be stolen.

Transformer Balun for SOTA

My buddy in the US has designed this transformer for SOTA activations.  It is light weight, good to 50 watts and looks “cool”, BNC connector.  I am placing an order for winter antenna projects, they are about $10 each so please let me know if you would like me to increase the order for your needs.  I use one on my EFHW 20/40 meter SOTA antenna. 

Correction in Club Name to Use

Would you post the following for me? I seem to be caught in an endless loop of verifying myself.

John

Correction in Club Name to Use

CAARC Participation in 2020 ARRL Field Day`

Garry VE6CIA told me first. When we use the web applet to report our results, when filling in Club/Group Name, when we start typing “Central Alberta”, a list of possible completions is presented. One of the choices is Central Alberta ARC. Go with that, don’t fight it! Then the ARRL will add our individual scores to derive our club score.

 

John VA6SJA